Dental health care workers’ attitude towards patients with substance use disorders in medically assisted rehabilitation (MAR)
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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OriginalversjonActa Odontologica Scandinavica. 2021, 79 (1), 31-36. 10.1080/00016357.2020.1769856
Objective To assess knowledge, beliefs and attitudes related to treatment of MAR patients among dentists and dental hygienists. Secondly, to investigate to what extent dental health care professionals’ attitudes associate with their treatment experience and beliefs regarding MAR patients. Material and Method We conducted a cross-sectional study, involving a census of dental hygienists and dentists in the public dental health care services in Hordaland and Rogaland counties in Norway. Data were collected by electronically administered questionnaires. Results The response rate was 187/344, 54% (26% dental hygienists and 74% dentists). A majority of both professional groups did not find it difficult to understand information on oral health and drug use. Although they confirmed familiarity with guidelines on good dental practice, they had received little information about oral health aspects of substance use. Both groups had slightly negative attitudes towards treatment of MAR patients. Beliefs that completion of treatment is often unsuccessful and that information on drug use and oral health is difficult to interpret associated with negative attitudes towards treatment. Conclusions The findings suggest that promotion of information to dental care personnel to extend their knowledge and improve their skills regarding oral health aspects of substance use might contribute to positive attitudes and improved utilisation of the free dental care offered to MAR patients.